Ireland is on the road to recovery after seven long, lean years of economic depression and social austerity. On paper, at least, Ireland is on the road to recovery. Those responsible for how Ireland looks on paper have been busy over the past half-decade lowering the poverty line a whole sixteen percent, transferring young unemployed people from the live register to corvée labour schemes pretending to be apprenticeships or internships and to spoof education programmes barely worth the paper they are written on, and slashing public services to dangerously low levels. Of course Ireland looks better on paper, but it is only on paper that Ireland is better. In reality the Irish state is in social and economic freefall; it is accelerating towards rock bottom, and this is being felt most acutely by the poorest and most vulnerable people in the country. During the past seven years the number of those living in poverty, according to both UNICEF and Social Justice Ireland, has doubled, putting some 440,000 children and 90,000 pensioners below the now lower poverty line. No matter how our government’s army of privately educated civil servants massage the figures, Ireland’s mounting problems have run away from them. It is high time that our elected representatives started being honest about this very real crisis.

There are few things more frustrating for those suffering from the poor economic decisions of the government than a continual spiel of governmental spin and out-right lies, when the truth is on the street for everyone to see. At the bottom of the social heap the statistical analysis is not printed on expensive official reports, but is counted in the increasing number of unnecessary deaths, and it is much more difficult to massage a corpse than it is to play with figures on paper. Yet the fact remains that these fudged reports are not produced for the benefit of ordinary working people. They have never been intended as propaganda to pacify the festering masses. No, the authors of such mendacities couldn’t care less what the victims think, feel, or experience. We simply don’t factor into their equations. These reports are produced – or fabricated – for the benefit of the ruling élite; they are designed to attract the sort of phoney confidence upon which the technocracy of the European Union thrives, the sort of bullshit that baits the species of investment that benefits the wealthy. What is most galling about this is that they know that it’s all hokum, and they know that we know that they know it’s all a pack of lies.

Jason Michael
Blog Author


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